The Academic Benefits of Family Meals

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,173
    Education expert Ann Dolin explains the academic and social benefits children receive from a routine family meal and shares her tips for bringing the whole family together.

    Ann Dolin: Believe it or not, your family's eating habits can have a profound effect on your child's academic success. Higher grades, lower levels of stress and positive peer relationships are just a few benefits that's sharing meals regularly creates.

    Though the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get in the way, here is how you can carve out time to sit around the table together. To get your family to the table on the first place, have a plan. Get the children involved by allowing them to choose the meal once or twice a week and to help prepare it.

    Remember, it's a simple act of being together that tends to increase the sense of security for children, not the elaborate preparation of the meal so keep it simple.

    Use this time to talk, reconnect and invite conversation, ask open ended questions and really look listen to one-another. Younger children are exposed to increase vocabulary as conversation around the table usually involves topics and world events, they may not otherwise hear.

    Keep the conversation positive and be sure to refrain from shortcomings and unfulfilled responsibilities and also don't forget to turn off the TV because it prohibits meaningful conversation.

    By following these simple suggestions, you and your children will definitely reap the benefits of family meals.